Shelfari Shelf

Sunday, September 26, 2010

MKIII Marines Part 3

My first foray into the world of Pre-Heresy Space Marines is over. While, I wouldn't call this a resounding success, I am quite happy with the results. This squad of five marines are modeled up to be Sternguard, though only their bolter signifies this from a modeling standpoint.

I used my normal Ultramarine color pallet, for a couple of reasons. For one thing, I'm not a fan of the darker blues that some Ultramarine players have adopted. For another, the Ultramarines are such strict adherents to the Codex Astartes, I doubt they would have changed the color scheme of their armor in the ten millennia since the Heresy.

For the bases, I wanted a ruins of Calth look, so I glued on ballast, added a piece of sprue rubble and a bit of razor wire as well. In truth, this could signify any muddy battlefield, but it is a snapshot of what I imagine that notable Horus Heresy battlefield to look like.

The main bit of creativity I have exercised on this project was in the left shoulder pad design. The Ultramarines legion had some 250,000 Space Marines at the height of the Great Crusade. That equates to 250 chapters, and 2,500 companies. It was suggested on Bolter & Chainsword that I use the standard company colors, regardless of which chapter or company I chose to model. Then I could just signify the chapter number somewhere on the marines.

In the end, I chose to put the Chapter number on the top of the shoulder pad. Underneath it is the Company number. In the bottom left corner is the squad number, and in the bottom right corner is the squad symbol. I think this is a good representation of the 91st chapter, 901st company. The mainline marines will end up being from the 905th company, and then they will get probably a Land Raider and some Predators for armor support. Hopefully Forge World will do some Pre-Heresy terminators as well.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sons of Guilliman Rhino

Part of my 1000 point Sons of Guilliman has two rhinos in it. Here is the first of the two rhinos. I was a bit daunted by this project, as the quartered scheme of the Sons of Guilliman is easy on a marine, the natural delineations of the armor providing stopping points for the quartered colors. On a rhino chassis, there is no such thing.

At first, I tried a freehand attempt at quartering. This left me with slanted and uneven lines. Somewhat reluctantly, I turned to some painters tape to provide the crisp even edges I was able to obtain on the finished model. I did this by taping off one white quarter at a time.

To paint the white, I used a layer of P3 Frostbite, then a 60:40 Frostbite GW Skull White. Next I painted a coat of 40:60 Frostbite Skull White. Finally, I painted three coats of Skull White.

The blue is painted with a coat of Regal Blue, then Enchanted Blue and finally an extreme highlight of Ice Blue. The model was primed white originally, using Dupli-Color white.

Finally, I used a Micron Pen to draw the chapter insignia on the front of the rhino. I then painted the white using the same coats as with the other white. The blue is just Ultramarine Blue.

The one thing I would definitely like to improve on the next rhino, is a more even quartering across the whole model. Probably measuring and marking the mid points will best achieve this. Also, some more detailing would be nice as well, seeing as I only added a brass etched number piece to signify the number of the rhino.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MKII armor and Caestus Air Ram Part 2

I've finally built both the five MKII marines and the Caestus Air Ram. Having a one month old baby has definitely changed my modelling habits (as well as the frequency of my blogging) but it is a happy change. I have opted to build the MKII marines as Sternguard, and plan to make them part of a Pre-Heresy Ultramarines army. To that end, I plan to get some more brass etched Ultramarines sheets so that i can add Ultramarine symbols to the armor of the other marines. They also all have the Umbra Ferrox pattern bolters. I intend to add some city ruins and brownish rocks to the base to give a city fight, and also a Battle for Calth kind of feel - so some Word Bearer bitz might end up on their as well. One aspect of this army I am still puzzling over is how to denote the company and chapter for them, as I plan to do a company in the higher numbers of the Ultramarines legion, I'm thinking either the 687th company or 918th. I plan to have the left shoulder pad have the company number in large roman numerals, with the squad number smaller in the bottom left corner and the squad designation in the bottom right corner. But the shoulder pad rims are a quandary. Most of the Ultramarines in the HH artwork books have gold rims, or no rims at all, so I could make the rims blue or gold and feel they are somewhat accurate. It is definitely a minute detail I want to get as right as possible.

The second item for display is my built Casetus Air Ram. It is pictured on a flying base for one of my Valkyries, so the base will not necessarily represent the finished product. Especially since I am leaning toward brown, rocky bases for my Ultramarines currently. This was an easy build for a Forgeworld model, with some nice tab and slot pieces to make the joins easy to achieve. One thing that is key for this model, like every other forgeworld kit, is making sure the edges of all the pieces are properly sanded. There are definitely noticeable parts where there are gaps showing that I may need to fix.

Another quandary for this model is whether to keep the doors open or not, especially since in my hast to build the kit, I left out the interior door pieces. The lightning for the interior will be poor due to the length and narrowness of the booms. Making it even worse than looking inside a land raider. Those tow factors alone will probably have me end up gluing the ramps shut.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fear the Alien edited by Christian Dunn

Fear the Alien is the latest anthology from the black library. It has some good stories, and some bad. Let's start with the good. Dan Abnett has another Magos Drusher short story called "Gardens of Tycho". This short story picks up years after the last one, when Drusher helped to identify a genestealer as a rural killer. Now Drusher is older, and much poorer, and he has been brought in to help find a killer in the city of Tycho. It's a good tale, with a nice twist, that is well worth reading. There is also "Prometheus Requiem" by Nick Khyme which is about the Firedrakes, featuring Tsu'gan and Praetor, who have to go into a space hulk to find the Protean and accomplish a secret mission. "The Core" by Aaron Dembski-Bowden is another Night Lords story featuring Talos. This time after the events in Soul Hunter. Here Talos is on a mission of salvage in a space hulk the size of a small moon. These two stories could be read one after the other and make the anthology experience better as a whole, or you can read in order and savor the gems amidst the otherwise mediocre short stories.

There are a couple of decent stories as well, "Mistress Baeda's Gift" is a tale of Dark Eldar love and is notable for some Dark Eldar love at the very least. "Unity" is another interesting story, involving a guardsman sniper and a marine of the Raven Guard behind enemy lines on an Imperial World turned traitor by joining the Tau'va. Finally, "Faces" by Mathew Farrer, of Shira Calpurnia fame, is a psychological story of a group of forge workers who seem to have gone crazy.

The other stories are readable, but not quite so well put together. Some use tired old story ideas to incorporate their alien elements and some are just written in a barely readable or uninteresting fashion. On the whole though, the book is worth it for the first three stories.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Andy Hoare's "The Hunt For Voldorius"

I just finished reading Andy Hoare's The Hunt For Voldorius. This novel is about Ko'Sarro Khan hunting down the daemon prince Voldorius and avenging all of the wrongs he has done to humanity. As the cover accurately predicts, along the way they meet up with the Raven Guard, violence ensues. Sadly, Andy Hoare is a new writer, and really holds onto the stereotypical phrasings of a Black Library novel. He borrows ideas from Abnett and Mcneill, and applies them wholesale to his novel, creating a very bland reading experience. So bland that both the White Scars and Raven Guard could be interchanged with any other generic chapter. Only the specific naming details really create any difference. The anecdotal references to Chogoris tell more than show, and what they do show adds flavor only in name.

In the end, the Hunt For Voldorius is probably the worst of the space marine battle novels so far, also the thinnest (so it's a short hunt). Hoare should probably stick to his Damocles Gulf Crusade series and wait a bit longer to mature as a writer, developing his own style. But it is entertaining enough to read in a fairly slow BL release month. Next week, I'll have a review of Fear the Alien.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Caestus Air Ram and MKII Iron Armor from ForgeWorld

I was happy to come home on Friday and find my last Forgeworld order waiting on my steps. It was doubly a surprise because Forgeworld had said they were having mold issues with the Caestus Air Ram and it would be three to four weeks before it would be able to be shipped. But, happy day, their the order was waiting on my doorstep.

I picked up three items, the first was the Umbra pattern bolters. These, I have two thoughts for their use; one is to use them in a Marines Malevolent army, the other is to build an Ultramarines Pre-Heresy army. I have to say, being a huge Ultramarine fanboy, the Pre-Heresy army has a huge allure. The bolters themselves are quite nice, though the fact that there are ten of them, but you only get six of the chainblade bayonets is disappointing.

The second item was the MKII Iron Armor set. I've always liked the look of this armor, especially the torso plates, which have a very archaic look to them. The sculpts by Forgeworld are great, with enough flat surfaces to allow for freehand, brass etched or decals to personalize the kit.

The third item was the Caestus Air Ram. While this flyer is pretty much an ungainly void craft, I am an avid Space Marine collector. I think that, while the Caestus doesn't have a very sleek look, it does fill a hole in the Space Marine arsenal that in the past had to be filled by Imperial Navy aircraft.

The details of the model themselves are quite good, and follow the style elements of the Space Marine army. Unfortunately, like much of the detailing in other Forgeworld models, a lot of this will be lost when the model is completed due to lack of lighting in the booms that form the transport compartments.

I'm quite excited to get to work on these models, and while they take their bath to remove the resin release, I'm still debating the use of the MKII models. Hopefully in the coming weeks I'll have more to show.